20040828 (see blogules 2004)
(discussion about the definition of a terrorist)
Defining a terrorist is actually a tricky task. I'd rather use the expression "terrorist actions" or better "actions of terror" since a terrorist is defined by his actions rather than by his permanent state (Arafat proved a former terrorist could be awarded a Nobel Prize).
Terrorists and resistants shouldn't be opposed since resistance is an aim and terror a means. Thus, some resistants do use terror. Does the aim justify the means is another question - I guess a true resistant should resist certain temptations.
One should also avoid the dangerous turf of "good vs evil" to draw the line. The problem with Bush is the way he uses terror and even the word "terror". To me, his definition of a terrorist should be extended to anyone threatening his reelection.
Still, there is a notion of "positive action" or kind of : with resistance and sabotage, you are opposing a force directly, sometimes through its symbol if you cannot manage any "better". With terror you can also weaken an ennemy overwhelmingly stronger than you, but you do not strike at the source of the force and go for the weakest part of the society. Bringing fear and destruction is the thing, and publicity (at home and/or abroad) a must. And the action is more important than the actor (terrorist) : the fear is greater if you do not know who's striking. I am anyone and everyone, I can strike anyone anywhere anytime.
SM on a forum
PS : don't get me wrong : Bin Laden won't get a Nobel prize (except maybe for his command of TNT, a Nobel invention)